Get up on your feet… put your hands together… a look at something different now, and the GWF’s “wrestling series”, Three Count.

We’ve barely touched on the GWF here, but it’s not been for the want of trying. Based out of Berlin, the GWF has worked with promotions like Defiant in the past (when they were WCPW), but have largely kept to themselves and done their own thing. Such as a different spin on the concept of a wrestling TV show. Debuting in August 2017, Three Count was the promotion’s latest way to get people to watch them regularly… it’s been successful enough to warrant a second season, and is available to watch on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video… so why not? Pro-tip: watch it on YouTube if you want the English subtitles!

The opening credits are familiar: set to the same music Defiant use for their weekly show. It’s your usual collection of moves, wrestlers posing and the like, and clips from GWF past… including what looked to be an election? Oh hey, there’s Lucky Kid! The Arrows of Hungary, We open with a guy called Franz (according to the subtitles) showing off the new motto, with Rambo and Ahmed Chaer praising it. They don’t tell us what it is, as Franz rather pitches to a speakerphone (that isn’t plugged in!), where Olaf, the ring announcer and company’s main investor, is worrying about whom the centrepiece of the GWF should be. Is this a day one meeting?

Rambo, who was voted as president, picked himself, of course, but Ahmed Chaer wants a match maker as well. There’s tension between Rambo and Chaer, particularly over money, with Rambo taking a shot at Chaer for “booking a tag team from the UK and wasting our money”. I don’t know for sure, but that may well be a shot at the British Young Bloods (remember them from Rev Pro past?)

They go to a vote, with Rambo being outvoted in his wish to not need a match maker… before picking a challenger for Pascal Spalter’s title.

Next, we go to someone’s apartment… it turns out it’s Orlando Silver hurriedly packing to get to a show, but he’s stopped by his mother. She reckons his arm isn’t fully healed, but Silver guilt trips her in a spot right out of a telenovela, begging him to eat at the arena. Strangely, she doesn’t care too much that she’s cooking for nothing, or that Orlando’s skateboarding all the way to the arena. Like a modern day Bart Simpson!

Cue titles, of what I think is Berlin, and we’re outside a building where there’s “greetings in Turkish” as we’re introduced to some more characters: Ayatic Bahar, Georges Khoukas and Ali Aslan. I’ve heard of none of these guys before. They’re making trouble, but we’re quickly interrupted by Chris Colen, who the Turks are surprised has been booked again. Aslan threatens to “cut the smile out of (Colen’s) face”, but the Austrian Wolverine has no time for this. Up rocks Orlando Silver with his skateboard as Colen tells them all to piss off, as we switch…

…into the office again, as Rambo and a guy called Felix Weber are waiting. It seems Rambo’s picked Felix as his match maker, and he’s got a card ready and waiting. Except Rambo’s mad that he never got to see it first, and it’s clear that Felix is just his patsy. A patsy who books himself.

Another set of credits follows as we get introduced to some of the GWF roster. Like with the show so far, for a newbie, it’s way too many faces and names being thrown at us. We’re nine minutes into the show, and not counting the credits, we’ve had ten people thrown our way (with names).

We’re in the arena now as Olaf pitches to our first match!

Icarus vs. Mark Haskins
Icarus’ entrance is interrupted by a video package introducing him. Good – finally we’re given a little background after the smorgasbord of names thrown at us earlier. His goal is to win the GWF title and have the best match for it.

Apparently Icarus was trained by Sami Zayn and Aleister Black… he’ll need that as he’s up against Mark Haskins. That was not a name I was expecting to see here. He’s got an intro package too, albeit in his typically morose tone, and he too is here to dominate and win the Berlin championship. Our commentary is in German, but with English subtitles, as German hardcore wrestling legend Thumbtack Jack is on the call alongside Jonathan (nolastname). Haskins is all over Icarus early as his mat work forced an early stalemate, before Haskins’ forearms seemed to be termed “an offensive shit”. I’ve heard him called worse to be fair…

Icarus gets into it with a flying ‘rana off the middle rope, before a standing moonsault gets him a near-fall, as Icarus keeps Haskins in the corner for some chops. Commentary brings up Icarus’ run in WCPW’s World Cup, as he leapt to the floor and into the path of a superkick from a resurgent Haskins. A backdrop onto the apron follows, and yes, it’s still the hardest part of the ring here, and that allowed Haskins to keep up on Icarus with kicks as commentary threw out Curt Hawkins’ name for some reason.

A cravat keeps Haskins on top, but Icarus fights free, only to get taken into the corner for a slingshot dropkick before a modified Koji clutch looked to wear down Icarus some more. More kicks from Haskins keep Icarus on the back foot, but it led to the fight back, with a Meteora off the middle rope knocking Haskins down. Icarus can’t get a German suplex going, but a modified Michinoku driver follows, as does a brainbuster and a head kick that almost won the match for the Hungarian.

Haskins has no trouble with German suplexes, taking Icarus into the corner before being met with a shotgun dropkick… but Haskins rebounds out of the corner and into a roll-up death valley driver! That gets a two-count, as does a superkick, but Haskins can’t quite get the Sharpshooter applied, as they go back and forth with elbows before a ripcord elbow from Icarus almost caused the upset. Looking to finish it off, Icarus goes up top… but he’s stopped by Dover – his tag partner elsewhere – but Dover just runs into him as Icarus does his senton bomb… landing on Haskins knees as a superkick and a Sharpshooter put away the Hungarian. A pretty good match in a vacuum – and I’m guessing that’s part of a wider feud between the former/current Arrows of Hungary? ***½

After the match, Dover stared down Haskins before going after the fallen Icarus, dumping him with the Air Raid Crash to add insult to injury as commentary painted Dover as someone a little jealous at his former partner’s success.

We’re backstage now as Tarkan Aslan walks into Rambo’s office. He’s impatient, and angry too because he didn’t get the match against Mark Haskins… especially because Haskins wanted a match against the Berlin champion. Well, some dramatic accordion effects greeted Aslan’s response, as Rambo tells him he’s got a match next week against Adam Kruger.

Oh God. That reminds me, I need to see Kruger’s “Who’s Next” try-out…

That bleeds into a meeting outside the office between Ahmed Chaer and Martin Guerrero – who was the GWF’s Loserweight champion… a belt that can only be won by being pinned. A pretty cool concept to have a persistant hard luck story going on. Guerrero’s mad that he’s a loser when he’s got a lot of YouTube followers, but Chaer can’t help him because he’s not in charge, before reminding him that in November a new President’ll be chosen.

More overbleed as Chaer goes into the office, but is interrupted by Ronaldo Shaqiri, but instead we’re back to ringside for another match.

Gefreiter Weber vs. Chris Colen
Weber, who I swear was introduced to us originally as Felix, is playing the role of an private, serving Rambo’s army. He too wants to be the Berlin champion, before we get Chris Colen’s wacky rainbow rollercoaster entrance video, and a package that tells us Colen’s bigger goal – he wants the GWF World title.

Looking like the early prototypes of Barry Windham when he was the Stalker in the WWE, Weber tried to get in Colen’s face early on, as the early shoulder tackles don’t have any effect on the Austrian. Colen tries, and his are much more effective, as Weber was kept on the mat with armdrags and armbars.

Colen shoves aside a dropkick and keeps up the offence, throwing chops as Weber was trapped in the corner, before a snapmare and a PK gets a near-fall. An axehandle smash out of the corner keeps Colen in it, but Weber mounted a brief comeback with a forearm and a slam, before missing an elbow drop because he stopped to salute like an idiot. A sunset flip gets Colen back in it for a near-fall, as he follows up with a slingshot suplex, before a back suplex got Weber barely a two-count.

Weber tries to follow up again, but Colen yet again cuts him off with a crossbody off the top, before Weber manages a suplex as he tried stay in contention. Running knees into the corner flatten Colen, but the veteran hits back with a Rainmaker after slipping out of a Fireman’s carry, before the Angel’s Wings earned the Austrian Wolverine the win. Pretty much a glorified squash, with Colen easily getting past the front line of Rambo’s army. **¾

We’re backstage again as Pascal Spalter confronts Rambo over his choice of opponent. It seems Spalter’s not too happy at having to defend his title over Orlando Silver, something that Rambo defender as being a decision of the board, rather than his own choice. Spalter doesn’t feel that Silver is worthy of a shot… so he quits!

There’s no “next week” teaser, as we instead get credits, which revealed that in the space of 40 minutes we were introduced to twenty different people in some form. That’s way too much for a newbie to be expected to absorb!

As a concept, Three Count is completely different from just about everything else that’s out there, with wXw’s Shotgun perhaps coming close – but again, not going full-on in terms of the soap opera presentation. My concern though is that while those soap opera elements are fine, the first episode was a little overwhelming for anyone new to the GWF product – but we’ll keep on following to see what develops, and whether those little seeds that were being scattered blossomed into anything.